March 27, 2023

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Scandal over the new form of “Zenith”: Ukraine requires an explanation of the outfitter. Spanish Joma works in Russia through an intermediary

CSKA and Akhmat also play in Joma.

Zenit played in the new uniform for the first time, the club has it until the end of the 2023/24 season. Unusual is not only the term of one and a half years for one design, but also the supplier. Despite the fact that there is a Joma logo on the jersey, the club did not mention the Spanish company in any way in the presentation. It is only reported that this is a form from the international marketplace from Russia – Wildberries.

And Joma is the official outfitter of the Ukrainian national team. And there are still big questions for the brand.

The form is made to order – this is not the old Joma template

The home kit is made in traditional blue and blue colors: the T-shirt is decorated with a fragment of the map of St. Petersburg with the winding outlines of the Neva and other waterways, and the wave pattern on the sleeves symbolizes the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, Zenit explained.

Guest option – in bright colors. With a golden collar, a symbol of dominance in Russian football, a reference to gold medals around his neck.

As you can see, this is quite an original design. The form site Footy Headlines claims that it is not based on any of the previous Joma templates. This means that the Spaniards, to some extent, participated in the development of new Zenith kits: either themselves or under license.

Rumors about a potential partnership between Zenit and Joma have been circulating since the summer. It seems that the same outfitter (also through Wildberries) will dress Spartak

In Russian football, the departure of global brands primarily hit Zenit and Spartak. These clubs were paid for a licensing deal with Nike and a percentage of each kit sold.

“We do not have the right to disclose the size of the contract, but the amount is significant for the commercial revenue side,” Rustam Makhmutov, commercial director of Spartak, admitted. – At the same time, we do not want the relationship to be calculated only in terms of money. Nike was a reliable partner who supported our marketing initiatives, the opening of a new store, the fund’s activities and actively participated in the life and work of the Spartak Junior franchise network.

He clarified that Spartak earned at the level of the middle peasants from the top 5 leagues.

As a result, Zenit and Spartak are the only clubs that started this season in kits from old Nike collections. And in the summer, both clubs signed a contract with the Wildberries. In the case of Zenit, it was reported that the team would be leaving the retailer’s logo in the second half of the season. This explains why the parties presented new kits only in the middle of the season.

The fact that “Zenith” is negotiating with Joma, “Sport-Express” announced in the summer. Then the club denied this information, but there were already suspicions that the change of form and outfitter would still happen in the winter.

According to SE, Spartak will also be wearing Joma, but from the start of next season. It is assumed that the home and away kits will have to be chosen from a line of templates (too little time to develop original solutions), but the third form may be exclusive. Vedomosti. Sport” reported that there were no plans for direct cooperation between Spartak and Joma: Wildberries would be the supplier of ready-made kits.

CSKA and Akhmat play in Joma uniforms – both clubs were sanctioned

Joma was founded in the mid-60s by Fructuoso Lopez and named after his son José Manuel (the name is pronounced “Homa”, it’s Spanish, and the first letter is jota), now he is the president of the company.

For Spain, the outfitter has achieved great heights, but internationally it is still a second or third tier brand. Of the notable clubs in the current portfolio: Atalanta, Villarreal, Getafe, Hoffenheim and Norwich. Otherwise, the company dresses not the most prominent clubs and teams around the world (there are very exotic clients – Cuba and Honduras).

Joma tries to make money wherever there is an opportunity for this. In the 2015/16 season, when there was a slight thaw in relations between Iran and the West, the brand appeared on Sepahan T-shirts. Then there were even insiders that the company would become the official outfitter of the Iranian national team, but it didn’t come to that.

In 2022, when major international brands were leaving Russia en masse, Joma was in no hurry to leave. This is despite the fact that the US Treasury has imposed sanctions against the state corporation VEB.RF and all its main assets, including CSKA , with which the outfitter has been cooperating since 2020.

On February 23, 2022, the director of Joma Sport in Russia and Belarus, Igor Zavodyany, even told RBC Sport that the company did not want to deal with political issues and confirmed that the brand remained in Russia: “Joma did not receive information about the inclusion of PFC CSKA in the list of sanctions . We will continue our cooperation within the current contract with the club. The brand will continue to work and fulfill all sponsorship obligations to partners in Russia.”

After February 24, the Ukrainian Football Association (in response to a request from explained the position of the Spanish brand differently: “The main office of Joma stopped all sponsorship contracts with Russian and Belarusian sports teams.”

However, CSKA started the new season with Joma. Akhmat, which has been under sanctions since December 2020, joined the same outfitter in the summer.

The Ukrainian federation is waiting for an explanation from Joma. And Karpaty went to Nike

Joma has been dressing the Ukrainian national team since 2017. Once this cooperation has already caused an international outcry: at Euro 2020, Ukrainians played in a uniform with an outline of the country’s borders and a “Glory to Ukraine” patch. This then greatly hurt the deputies of the State Duma .

The current presentation of Zenit has already caused a loud reaction in Ukrainian football. The official distributor of Joma in Ukraine, the Sport Service company, made a public statement:

“We do not have a double look at this situation and our position is unambiguous. Sponsorship of Russian sports is an irresponsible act that we cannot support. But we have to wait for official information. We have reached out to the Joma Sport central office for clarification and an official comment on this situation.”

The Ukrainian Football Association reacted approximately the same way: UAF Marketing sent a request to the Joma head office asking for an explanation on this situation. In particular, does the Joma central office have anything to do with the presentation and development of the design of the Zenith kit in general, and how did it happen that the Joma logo flaunts on the uniform of the Russian team? UAF Marketing hopes to get a clear answer to this question in the near future.”

At the same time, we remind you that a similar situation with the use of the Joma brand jersey by Russian clubs already arose in July 2022. Then, in response to a request from UAF Marketing, the technical sponsor of the Ukrainian national team stated that “Joma has stopped all sponsorship contracts with Russian and Belarusian sports teams.”

Lviv “Karpaty” did not wait for anything else – and simply went to Nike.

“The reason for this decision was the lack of a clear position of Joma to stop working on the Russian market,” the club said in a statement. – The recent presentation of one of the Russian teams confirmed the correctness of the decision of the Karpaty management. One of the defining criteria when choosing a technical partner was the complete exit of Nike from the Russian market.”

It is not yet clear what the position of the head, Spanish office of Joma is: will they break with Zenit and Spartak after such statements or will they remain with Russian partners, in whatever format the cooperation is now implemented.